Poetry for Kids: A World of Publishing Possibilities

In-Person | Poetry
Poetry anthologies, stand alone poems, lyrical picture books, narrative picture books, and verse novels make up the colorful fabric of poetic offerings to children. Learn ways to weave words, sounds, and stories into engaging poems, and find new markets and opportunities in writing poetry for children. There will be ample private retreat time so that you can write, wander, and connect with fellow poets.

April 16 - April 19

Highlights Foundation Campus

$1299

Overview

In-person 4-Day/3-Night Workshop and Retreat

Poetry anthologies, stand alone poems, lyrical picture books, narrative picture books, and verse novels make up the colorful fabric of poetic offerings to children. Learn ways to weave words, sounds, and stories into engaging poems, and find new markets and opportunities in writing poetry for children. There will be ample private retreat time so that you can write, wander, and connect with fellow poets.

  • This is an in-person workshop at our Retreat Center with lectures, writing exercises, and faculty consultations.
  • We include ample time to relax, retreat, and work on your own writing.
  • Lodging and meals are included.
  • Begins with dinner 5:30pm Eastern on Sunday, April 16
  • Ends with lunch at 1:00pm Eastern on Wednesday, April 19
  • 18 participants max

Why This Workshop?

Poetry anthologies, stand alone poems, lyrical picture books, narrative picture books, and verse novels make up the colorful fabric of poetic offerings to children. Join celebrated poets and verse novelists Irene Latham and Charles Waters, and their virtual guest, editor Carol Hinz, to learn ways to weave words, sounds, and stories into engaging poetry for children.

Our sessions will offer an overview of the many opportunities poets have when writing for children and teens. We will also bring in the foundations of poetry, and look to a diverse array of examples as we create our own pieces.

In addition to exploring the make-up and markets of poetry, we’ll also talk about interacting with your audience through powerful poetry performances. Attention will be paid to your own works-in-progress and ideas through 1:1 meetings with your faculty and small group workshopping sessions.

We hope that you’ll leave with new ideas, new poems, and new confidence in your understanding of crafting, revising, and performing poetry for children.

Feedback Expected

  • Informal feedback throughout the workshop via hands-on exercises and small group sharing.
  • A 1:1 consultation with Charles or Irene during the workshop.  You may submit one lyrical picture book (no more than 750 words); or five stand alone poems (no more than 750 words total); or an anthology proposal with two sample poems.  Submissions are due for faculty review by March 24, 2023.

It’s a Great Fit If…

  • You want to learn more about opportunities in writing poetry for children. This workshop will offer an overview of opportunities for poets and writers to connect with children through poetry.
  • You are a poet looking to expand into children’s books. Come and learn more about the field of children’s books, guided by two celebrated poets!
  • You are looking for feedback on your poetry. There will be both formal and informal opportunities for you to discuss your work with faculty and fellow poets.
  • You could use some creative inspiration. There will be hands-on exercises designed to spark new ideas.
  • You’d appreciate some retreat time. This course has plenty of built-in time to write, draw, hike, or rest–whatever you need.

Detailed Agenda

All Times are Eastern Standard Time.

Pre-Workshop
  • Prior to your submission deadline, you will receive a link to our virtual classroom where you can introduce yourself to fellow writers, engage in Highlights Foundation related resources (including our Community Standards), and view submission details related to this course.
  • Submission deadline is March 24, 2023 for your 1:1 consultation during the retreat with Charles or Irene. You may submit one lyrical picture book (no more than 750 words); or five stand alone poems (no more than 750 words total); or the opening five pages from your novel in verse; or a poetry anthology proposal with two sample poems.
  • Note: For your optional peer group discussions during the workshop, you will be able to read aloud and discuss your work in the workshop atmosphere.  There is no need to prepare additional copies to distribute to the group.
Day 1: Sunday, April 16
  • 3pm – 5pm Eastern: Arrival and check in.
  • 5:30pm: Appetizers & Dinner
  • Following dinner: Welcome, introductions, and a creative exercise
Day 2: Monday, April 17

Morning:

  • Breakfast
  • Session #1: “Finding Your Voice in the World of Children’s Poetry” with Irene and Charles
  • Sharing and discussion

Afternoon

  • Lunch
  • Read aloud: An interactive experience with poetry
  • 1:1 meetings, with writing & retreat time while not in meetings

Evening

  • Appetizers & Dinner
  • Fireside Q & A

 

Day 3: Tuesday, April 18

Morning

  • Breakfast
  • Session #2: “Revise Like a Master Gardener” with Irene
  • Sharing and discussion/optional peer-to-peer workshopping

Afternoon

  • Lunch
  • Read aloud: An interactive experience with poetry
  • Virtual presentation by special guest Carol Hinz

Evening

  • Appetizers & Dinner
  • Fireside chat: Poetry & School Visits

 

Day 4: Wednesday, April 19

Morning

  • Breakfast
  • Session #3: “Poetry Performance” with Charles
  • Sharing and discussion

Afternoon

  • Lunch & farewells
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Commitment Required for the Best Experience

As an in-person event at our Retreat Center, you’ll have a chance to step away from everyday life to experience the workshop. We try to build in breaks and independent time so you have space for your personal needs. While we encourage participation in all group events, we know that as an adult learner you can decide if you need more time to yourself. Please let someone from our staff or faculty know if you plan to step away from group activities.

The Highlights Foundation strives for a safe and inclusive environment. You will have access to our Community Standards prior to the workshop where we ask for your respectful engagement with fellow creatives, including our faculty and staff.

Another commitment that will help you get the most from this workshop is participating in the 1:1 critique and optional peer group discussions. The submission deadline in advance of your consultation with faculty is March 24 in order to allow faculty time to familiarize themselves with your work in advance of your meetings.  If this is an issue, please let us know. For your optional peer group discussions, you will be able to read aloud and discuss your work in the workshop atmosphere; no need to prepare additional copies to distribute to the group.

How It Impacts Kids

Poetry is a celebration of language that can engage kids and learning and exploring.  This workshop highlights the many ways to bring poetry into children’s lives.

Testimonials from Our Community

“The leaders of this retreat – Charles and Irene – were incredible. I learned so much in just a few days, and they were very flexible, supportive, and inspiring.”

“My experience at Highlights was exactly what I needed. I gained a children’s poetry writing community and mentors and had many questions answered about children’s poetry, in particular with regard to poetry collections and the submission process. Carol Hinz’s contribution to our class was invaluable. Charles and Irene set a wonderful tone for the experience and our class felt comfortable immediately. Additionally, the lodging, the property, the staff, the student ambassadors, and the food (oh my, the food!) were all wonderful. I felt exceptionally well taken care of and freed from the daily grind. Thank you all so much!”

Meet the Faculty

Special Guests

DETAILS

April 16 - April 19

$1299

Highlights Foundation Campus

362 Boyds Mills Road
Milanville, PA 18443

The Highlights Foundation strives for a safe and inclusive environment. You will have access to our Community Standards prior to the workshop where we ask for your respectful engagement with fellow creatives, including our faculty and staff.

Pay in full, or secure your spot with a deposit (unless otherwise noted).

LOCATION

All in-person Highlights Foundation workshops and retreats (including this one) are held at our Retreat Center: The Barn at Boyds Mills.  This site was the home of the original founders of Highlights for Children Garry and Caroline Myers, and is located in the Poconos Mountains of Pennsylvania on the traditional and contemporary lands of the Lenape Nation.

All-inclusive registration includes workshop tuition, lodging, meals, beverages, and snacks. Free car service is available from the local airport, train, and bus station, or you can park on site. You’ll receive more information about logistics after you register.

Visiting Our Campus

Our campus (The Barn at Boyds Mills) is tucked away in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.  It's a few hours from both New York City and Philadelphia, but worlds away from everyday life.

Line drawing of the Barn at Boyds Mills

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